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Going Solar Part 4 – I Measure Every 24/7 Electrical Device in the Automated Home

As we mentioned in Part 2, the Automated Home’s base line energy consumption is terrible. There’s no point creating all this energy and then throwing it away. But which are the most inefficient appliances? In an effort to find out I decided to work my way round the house room by room, measuring each device that’s permanently plugged […]

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Recycling 18650 Cells to Build a DIY Powerwall

Sometimes I really need to step back and take time to be amazed by the Internet. A few days ago I watched a live stream of a man sitting in his garage on the other side of the world ripping apart lots of old laptop batteries to recover the 18650 cells inside. Paul Kennett lives in Wellington, New Zealand […]

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Going Solar Part 3 – I Traded in my Range Rover for a Nissan Leaf

So last month I traded in my Range Rover for a Nissan Leaf. No really. After my first 1,000 miles here are some rambling thoughts, early observations and opinions on living with an EV… Autumn Leaf I’ve been driving SUV’s for more than 7 years, but in 2013 I had my first test drive in an […]

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Video: iTouch Energy Show Off Clever Solar Vertical Blinds and Shutters

Northern Ireland startup iTouch Energy have been developing an innovative solar blind for several years now… Our mission is to bring Sustainable Energy and Smart Home Technology into homes and offices through the vertical window space of high-rise buildings, especially in metropolitan cities where roof top solar panels solution is not viable. Just last month the […]

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Video: Elon Musk Reveals Tesla Powerwall 2 & Solar Roof Tiles

Elon Musk took to the stage in the early hours of this morning, UK time, to reveal a new Tesla Powerwall 2 with 14kWh of storage and a peak output of 7kW for $5,500. Musk also announced the commercial product Powerpack 2 with 210kWh storage with a peak output of 50kW.  To transition to an […]

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Going Solar Part 2 – Costs, Incentives & Payback Time

Last month we Installed a 4kW Solar Array at the Automated Home. The first thing everyone asks is how much it cost and what the payback time is. While the finances may not be your only motivation for installing solar they are important and there are several figures that feed into the equation. While some are guesstimates others are more certain. Here […]

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Going Solar Part 1 – Installing a 4kW PV Array at the Automated Home

Having watched the price of photovoltaic solar panels steadily fall over the last few years and seeing a drop in incentives looming on the horizon, we decided to pull the trigger on a system for the Automated Home. We had visits from 3 local companies to quote for a 4kW PV system. That’s the largest single […]

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My Belfast Test Drive in a Tesla Model S P90D Ludicrous

If you’re a regular Automated Home reader you’ll have noticed a few electric car stories creeping in over the last couple of years along with more Tesla coverage (including their Powerwall) too. I got a quick indoor passenger run in a Model S earlier this year while at the Gadget Show Live at the NEC and […]

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Eco-Heating Systems with a Twist

After working for many years as a production engineer, Patrick Littlehales started to creating his own eco-heating systems. He claims many of the installations he has designed and installed over the last decade end up as ‘zero-cost’ systems which actually return an annual profit to the home owner. A compulsive inventor, he describes his installations as usually incorporating an […]

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SMA Sunny Home Manager Maximises Self Consumption for Solar PV Owners

Exporting the unused energy produced on domestic Solar PV systems is a bad idea. The current rate in our area is only around £0.03 per kWh and some countries are removing export tariffs completely, It’s much better then to use every ounce of your home made energy yourself and well known German manufacturer SMA has a […]

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